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tv   Helen Czerski Discusses Storm in a Teacup  CSPAN  April 20, 2017 10:59pm-12:14am EDT

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new president she created. >> she had her kidneys operated on and have been in dire straits medically so she could relate to things they are going through. out of veterans cause came the veterans. this was the first time the united states had a barrel, what we call the virginia. >> for complete schedule go to >> and doctor helen is a physicist and oceanographer. . .
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[applause] you may be wondering why the book talks about physics and that is people do not talk about physics enough, they talk about it quite a lot in popular culture but we are going to talk about the things i care about the. i identify very strongly as a physicist.
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[inaudible] this is the classic image of physics. this is when quantum physics were battling it out and realized it was all these mechanisms are.
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not knowing exactly what the particle was at the time, a lot of suits, ties and quite grumpy looking for people to be honest. so, when it comes to what physics is, it's not to look like this down here. anyone that can read the language and recognize the dispiriting particles -- describing particles from it is quite pretty but complicated. that isn't just the sort of thing you can appreciate without having studied a little bit. so this is an artist's impression of gravitational fields and that is just weird and then i'm just glad i didn't have to write the risk assessment because if you walked in and saw that [inaudible]
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this is the picture of visit. it is obscure and faraway and complicated. i am a physicist and i studied this, so i study the ways that bubbles help the ocean breeze and it is a fascinating place it sometimes looks like this. sometimes people ask me -- and tons of marine biologists and things like that and i've occasionally gone with them to study in hot places but that isn't what i do. this is as colorful as it ever gets. let's worry about the shape, not the color.
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sometimes this works like that and sometimes like that. this is physics. there's no doubt whatever describes this process is physics, but it's not included in that sort of traditional view of physics but it does count. so, i do believe -- is called foposting that we call with presenting. a few years ago a director arrived at the coast and we wanted to talk about breaking waves but the bbc didn't have any money so instead they sent us to the far side of cornwall in january and anyone that has been knows how cold it is so because i was shivering they sent me to sit over on a rock
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and think about the thing you most want to say about physics. now i look back and think he was just trying to keep me quiet about the cold. but a real thing you are interested in and physics it occurred to me what interested me most about the subject is this idea of patterns that it's not about learning the power of fact. you have to feel sorry for the biologist it's not just about learning about different types of dogs. he is about patterns that pop up again and again and again. so, for example, the same pattern in physics explains hot air balloons, winds, all those
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things come from one physical idea and i promise this is the only one i'm going to show you. even if you do not like equations. much of this quite nice. it basically relieves the pressure and the volume and the temperature of the body of gas. once you know just a little bit about that and the idea that if it is a fixed temperature than ithenit increases into that sorf thing so that is one bit of physics that gets you to all these places. this is almost universally applicable. something quite feared would have to be going on. once you learn the pattern you have all these different things in the world and that is what
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gets me excited about physics. it's like a toolbook and then i realized the consequence of that realization and way of thinking about it which is fundamentally physicists are really lazy. instead of learning a lot of stuff, we basically learn a small number of patterns and how to use them and then everybody thinks you are clever. it is a relatively small number of patterns in all of the physical world and so there was only one station. it is a small time over here so there are microphones and things going around. then on the bottom there are things on this side and big things at the top, so in that
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traditional view of what physics is and what we study, it is very big, far away, hel faraway, hele universe and take us a long time then on this and we have to quantum mechanics. it happens extremely quickly so this is the view of where the physics are. but the problem is with volcanoes and clouds and all this, they are not general relativity and cosmology or quantum mechanics. they sit in the middle and things tend to sit along this line so they tend to be slower and smaller things tend to be faster. they are not randomly placed.
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so there is a general thing but there is a lot of stuff that could happen in the middle. so when it starts out to quantum mechanics starts here and there is a huge space in the middle. it's also not trivial. there is a frontier of research here and there but it's in the complexities because when you take quite basic simple patter patterns, a few of these basic things, they can act together in fascinating ways that build complex systems. so this third tier that he don't talk about enough a is the midde ground here of complexity. it's not very elegant, it is quite messy but it's real and this is where we live and that's
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why it's important. i think that this should get a lot more attention because this is what it's running the world fundamentally. it's the same physical wall of what's going on. he spent his entire phd studying this basic process and end up in the bottom at a puddle but what happens in between is generally complicated and he assures us a.
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there is no computer model that can predict this behavior to a high accuracy. this is the reason i have a job because we can't do that if the process happened every time you pour water into a glass and to see those bubbles this is what is going on. we understand the basics and
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then this one is quite nice. it could be sugar, flour, salt and you pour it out. then it gets to a certain angle and it can't get any bigger. it is as steep as it can be and it depends on what shape and material they are made for him and all these things and there is a simple way to predict. if you let someone look under a microscope to inspect it, it depends on how much they stick together and yet that is the sort of thing that you see in
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your kitchen and it is relevant to real world problems. the first thing is there's this perception that's what you give the kids to play with but we should all get to and i will show you why. one of them is raw and one of them is boiled and then you can tell me which one is which. >> which one is raw? has anyone in the room used that way.
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who puts them back in the fridge, but leaving them aside, apparently some people do come it's okay, you can admit it. we have to hand over there we can look them up afterwards. here's the thing. you knew, you recognized. you saw them both spinning but when they stop you briefly put your finger on the top to stop it and if it is stalled. the solid to stop the entire thing. if it's liquid on the other side, used off-the-shelf at the liquid on the inside still goes around because nothing stopped it so the shell stops for a second and then it gets pushed around by the liquid again. the principle that this demonstrates to the physicists would call it angular momentum and what it means is when something is spinning it keeps spinning unless you give us something titsomething to stop s indefinitely and it will always
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point in the same direction. so, that is all very useful if you have eggs in the fridge and people to go home and play with them after. but this demonstrates a principle that is more important which is this is a picture of the hubble and the space telescope has been there for more than 12 125 -- 25 years. if you took a drinking straw and needed two and a half meters long which is almost the width of the screen, and you peer up at the sky through [inaudible] my publisher said i would have
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to convert. nobody measures the mass of the sun compounds, ever. [laughter] , anyway, this you can see through the end so there is a huge amount of detail. they had to look at it for 11 and a half days. it's been floating in free space not touching anything for 25 years. how does something, just looking something to push against, how does something so precisely nowhere to point? that is a problem. the answer is on the inside of it it's not something which is almost exactly the same as spinning and expect it to send actual eggs. it has spinning things and
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because of the angular momentum when they ar are spending they y spinning in the same direction. there's nothing to stop them so it can effectively move around them and it's like a three-dimensional compass, so the same principle that tells them apart by spinning them also let the hubble space telescope orient itself into space. it's the same physic. one is making these images that make everybody happy. and the nice thing about these once you start and stop them if you spot them and other places that's reporting. i once showed the aggregate io to the corporate group of people, people in suits trying to impress their bosses. i don't know why i was there. but i was doing my best running over the time, so i got to that and showed the video and i said
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i won't tell you how it works, you can come and ask me afterwards, and i had these middle-aged man literally tugging at my sleeve and explaining it and i said yes, it the sense of wonder doesn't go away when you're not a child anymore. you carry this with you until it is time, some a picture of the bluebird here is my lived in the state for five years and the last two years in rhode island where they have lots of blueberries. i'm from manchester where we don't really have blueberries. we just don't have them. we do now because of international shipping and things like that but we didn't then. so we were excited by the
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concept and i always made a lot of preserves as a kid. i thought that it would be great aif they could take some back so i went blueberry picking and you should know by the way that when you go fruit picking in england if you ever come, you have to suffer because you have to bend down and hurt your self you get scratched up to pieces. you have it so easy in this country. you can come right along and they fall. [laughter] so i collected gallons and when i went to make the jam i waited for it and i'm sure plenty of you have made blueberry jam and you know what happens is you let
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the boiling process happened, what comes out is bright pink which is beard and it's not blue. i wanted blue blueberry jam, so anyway, i took it home, called it blackberry jam but i thought this is wrong so six months later when i was back in the uk, i decided to do history documentaries. there was one about women in the 16th century and there were one or two in every village they were the midwives that dealt with people that were ill and they sort of picked up the pieces during these jobs and so they wrote things down. they were systematic. there were things that kept coming up and i'm curious to
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know because obviously they are not testing for witchcraft which is what they thought they were doing. maybe there was something going on so there are a few things he showed me. one of them is devastating that said if you boil water in the morning and he goes throug it gl the colors of the rainbow then someone is bewitched and i would think i were if i tried it. there were things like that and on one of those things was if you take one of those bright colorful flowers we get a lot in the summer and you probably get them here as well. you put it on someone's skin and it changes color, then they are bewitched. i had to think about this. it turns out it's bright purple and red petals and the pigments
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that make them their bright vivid colors are interesting. you get red cabbage for instance so not all tha that a lot that e bright vegetable pigments are in this class. the other interesting thing is if you are ever bored, get some red cabbage, boy you let, throw it away and the water will now be bright red and it's highly entertaining because it changes color and if you put it on something else, it goes blue and it goes yellow and green. but then it will go read. also depends on the time with a huge range of colors.
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and so, you're sweat can change ph depending on what you've been doing for your genetics. so if i have these pedals boiled with water normally it doesn't change color but if i'd just come back from a run, then they change color so what they were testing for actually they had a ph indicator and they were testing it which is quite interesting so we did this whole tv segment about that. then i remembered the blueberries. you know when you make blueberry jam with those in the pan is blueberries, water, sugar and lemon juice into so the reason it is bright pink is that it's basically the entire thing is acting as paper for the lemon
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juice so i didn't stand a chance of having blue blueberry jam but it was almost worth it just for that. that's why i was doomed to fail. that's useful. so you've built up these experiences as long as you know what you are looking for and then we have the more serious consequences. this is another video here, the thing to watch is how fast it happens. what you are about to see is a hand come in and shake them from side to side. if you look at the rate you see the bigger the glass it happens relatively slowly and the little glass it happens quickly and you can imagine something further off to that end if you put water
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in the bath it goes really slowly so the lesson here is in a vessel like that, the larger the circle at the top, the slower the liquid will go back to equilibrium and it turns out it does depend mostly on the age and shape so that's interesting and that's any system that can also wait it will have one particular raid which it springs to get back to being still. this is the reason i spill my tea every day at my department. the room is at the end of a long corridor and i am british
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therefore i drink a lot of tea. every morning i'm always in a hurry so i make my tea and then i raced back down the corridor and every morning i spill my tea and the reason is that when you walk is a bit of a regular shaking with a mug in this case and it just so happens that you give it a little bit of a push and if you give something a little bit of a push at the same frequency it will make it realls really vague and diffuse such a child in a swing exactly the right rates they will get higher and higher but if you try to push and push faster and faster they don't go anywhere and it
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just so happens my step rate matched the rate of my team and therefore every morning i would have enormous squashing going on and spill my tea. i could get a small cu cut and start drinking espresso but i don't like drinking coffee. all sorts of things but not one of them is drinking it. the other thing i could do is drink hot chocolate with cream, milk on top because the film dances down the oscillations of it keeps it in which is why if you have beer with a lot of head on it it doesn't spill as much as it should.
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but so this is resident. but then the theory of consequence. there was an earthquake in mexico city that caused a huge amount of damage. mexico city was very badly hit. afterwards, the army corps of engineers went along to look at the damage and see what lessons could be learned from what they found in terms of civil engineering and they found some interesting. they noticed that the buildings below five stories high were basically fine and there was above 20 stories are basically fine and it was the ones in the middle that fell over which was weird so then they had to look at the actual trace of the
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earthquake itself and what happened to the ground. you probably know it is any big basins that there's a lot of seven -- sediment. the earthquake shaking is normally quite complicated but the geology in this case i does the foundations basically showed just one frequency so it amplified one particular and i'm sure you are ahead of me here. tall buildings tend to sway and each has a natural rate the taller of the buildin the buildr the rate. so it happened in this case the natural frequency between five and 20 stories high was almost exactly the rate of that particular earthquake so they
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are the ones where the shaking groove and then they fell over. you have important civil engineering consequences and a little piece of physics. once you know about these things you can do something about them. in this case, this building here was for a while the tallest building in the world until the next tallest one came along and this one is quite close. if you don't like the swaying buildings, everybody else -- it is extremely clever. so in the middle of this building a third of the way down at the top inside they put something fascinating.
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they put a gigantic pendulum five stories high paying job in the middle of a building and then they spray-painted gold buttock swayed independently of the building at the reason they put it there so fantastically clever is when the pendulums are hanging in the middle end of the building sways pathway, it comes up behind the se site the buildg and the pendulum are swaying against each other which reduces the overall sway of the building to a third of what it would have been otherwise. then it takes about 30 seconds to get him inside t one side tor but you can see people are watching it during an earthquake and you would have to be pretty interested.
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these are civil engineering problems. and now this is as a few that tt are professional scientists and engineers, the subject is what you can create using these patterns. the game that i enjoy most i have a lab full of toys but am i going to play with and it doesn't always lead to where you expect. the reason this picture is here, it is a natural diamond but they don't always come out like that.
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[inaudible] the reason this picture is here is a friend of mine who is a new zealander, his job was to study diamonds being hit very hard so it's a great way to break up iraq but the problem is if you are a blast mining you want to break it up but not that i am and so studying how the they brk up under the impact basically in the way that he did that is you have a thing called a gas gun which in our case is a two dot five and 5 meters long.
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the put your diamond down this way and down that end is a massive reservoir of helium and then you put this plastic and rock over here so when you release the helium it pushes over here and it can accelerate from 2 kilometers per second. the thing here it was a big heavy things have the projectile
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has a big ball of fire and there would be no holes that you need this here to absorb the matter and to contain everything. the problem was he could take all these pictures but he wanted to get the bits of diamondback but he never did because they disappeared with all the other macs and fire. so he spent a while trying to work out what he could do and how to solve the problem to get the bits of diamondback. i will never forget the day that he walked into the lab having
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come from the local supermarket bags full of strawberry gelato. he put them down. what are you going to do with those. so for two days he worked out with the ratio of boiling water would be. he took the rags out and that was the solution was it would do the job and then he could sift through it. the day came, it comes down to
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2 kilometers a second and it disappears off into the chamber. but no one had told him or he didn't think to look at this when you put it under pressure if liquefies. so the whole thing instantly liquefied and we solidified. [laughter] and he never got it back. if it had succeeded.
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then you can work out ways to do something with them and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. you don't need a lab o for all f this fancy equipment to learn something from critical thinking. he won the prize in 2009 and some of you know they are signs that make you laugh and then think. when he was six or 7-years-old, his grandmother caught him cracking his knuckles. his grandmother told him don't
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do that because if you do that when you get old you will get arthritis. he wasn't taking her word for it so for the next 60 years he popped the knuckles on his right hand but not on his left and at the end of 60 years he didn't have arthritis in either hand and there is scientifi their scn that. [laughter] it's not necessarily the recommended way of doing science but you have to give him credit for not taking someone's word for it and having the dedication to follow through. [laughter] so if he would have been wrong he would have had arthritis. but you learn something. there's a lot of things in life you can have a go of for
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yourself and use the basic knowledge and test it out and test your hypothesis whether it is right or wrong. i can't see the clock back there. can anyone tell what time it is because i can't see. 8:10. okay i haven't gone on for too long been. so all this stuff about every day for six. first understanding the basic framework of the world. my grandfather my mother's father was one of the first early television engineers during the second world war. back when he started, electricity was still an immature science and technology and things went bang and pop and
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is and makes mouse and you knew there was something there. my mother before i was born a ws a computer programmer in manchester. when she started, she hates people to come me telling people this because she thinks it makes her sound old. but in the computer codes you can still see what they do. might look something like that. the problem is that it's easy to get taken away from the basics in the physical world and yet they are still the size of and
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this is about a the right size however smart things you have in the house. so with the technolog technologs you be a little bit lazy because you don't have to worry about it anymore and you can't fix it anyway. a science fiction writer want to set any technology is indistinguishable from magic and a passes that by a long way. but in contrast to that there is more information than before. it's not that it isn't accessible, but it's complicat
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complicated. the way to understand the framework you still have the conservation of energy and you have to obey these basic rules. but the fundamental rules are not broken and this is important because there's lots of computing things in the world and the framework doesn't apply to economics because it doesn't have a fundamental, but they are at the root of everything and you can see the same things apply to.
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so it's important that we don't trivialize these because that is our way in any complicated and confusing world it teaches the basic physical laws that provides the framework for everything that happens around us. that is an important thing in every one can try. at the time i knew -- probably none of you have heard of the sport, i like it. but there's lots of people there, they know me as an athlete but don't know much about my science. i sent one of the chapters and got a text message back a few weeks later and it said he was working overseas that switzerland and its sibling sitting in breakfast at the hotel and i want to push toast off the table because i don't
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believe what you wrote. [laughter] and that's the good thing. he doesn't have to believe me. he could just annoy the weech rest but he is free to watch it happen for himself. if he doesn't agree with me we could both look for the evidence that they are not that accessible. it just takes a bit of habit. physicists are not very good at sharing the idea that this isn't just about knowing things from its perception of the world at your perception of things changes and you walk around carrying that and i told you now, so the other thing that
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hasn't going away is maybe the fact we could do something about this foundation. the other thing we would have to deal with once we understand the framework is being comfortable with ambiguity. being comfortable with the difference between not knowing everything and doing nothing. this is a long-running series of bbc series. we had fun in may of 2004. that is me with one of the weather forecasters. we had a few unusual winters of weather in 2013 and 2014 and he made this show about why that happened. if the bbc ever understood how complicated the answer to the question was they wouldn't have let us make the show, so we didn't tell them because it's complicated and you get this a lot. your weather map includes a larger area than ours.
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but you've got the jet stream doing things and all these different things. so we understand a lot about is that we don't understand everything. so whether scientists can place together it is and as simple as a and b. and c.. it's hard to predict in advance but afterwards you can trace that and then there is a huge difference between not knowing anything and having that sort of knowledge with a huge amount of understanding and there is a point coming up where the problem with the complicated
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part is the foundation still say you can explain all of the various patterns that when it comes to how they play out you use the same rules to explain it and you have to put a little bit more work and the pieces together, so remember you have to trust the system and the system is science and we have some evidence to test the hypothesis against it and to get more evidence to work our way through it. so you have to trust where it comes from to trust the whole thing. so being comfortable with uncertainty and understanding what it means. that is a very important thing.
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on a more cheerful note, i think each have three life support systems, our own body on our planet and civilization and each of them is keeping us alive in its own way. for example, one of the reasons that climate change is an issue is the life-support system butting up against each other. we have the planetary system which kicks along and keeps us alive as it is now and then we have our infrastructure and we have to negotiate that boundary. if you are more pragmatic than that, this is the reason for doing it if you're not interested in anything else you
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are still interested in keeping yourself alive and what keeps thingthese going are the basic s and pattern of physics you can see in your kitchen so it's important to understand them and appease althese all end up being complicated but the fundamental years of understanding are built on the same thing so that's why if you've are convince you're cy it being interesting. so this is an environment to get started with playing with toys. we are very unsophisticated and with tha should say is soda bece in britain we cost of lemonade that has never been near a lemon but you are better than that. [laughter] sometimes.
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[laughter] so anyway, take the label off and you can see and watch what happens. also good at parties if you've are with boring people, take the reasons out and find yourself a fizzy drink and it makes the boring people go away and the interesting people come to you. [laughter] start some coffee and take a picture then come up later and take a picture of what happened to it afterwards when it dried. there is an important difference that you will all see it's worth looking at. get a teaspoon and a ceramic coffee mug pas passed around the room and listen and push toast
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off the table. [laughter] if you want to extend that one, see if you can find a way to make it is not always fall butter side down. there is a physical solution but it is quite messy but worth trying. so, i need to stop talking. we have time for questions. [applause] if you have a question we ask that you would come ask it at the microphone and keep your question in the form of a question. and feel free to ask about anything how do you develop the
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practice of finding patterns? how do you practice. >> said, my publisher would save read the book. you start by looking for things kids would ask. it is a habit that is hard to unseat the things yo you stop yourself from seeing that he will have those thoughts to drift through your mind that say isn't that odd and it starts at that point not dismissing it. you will see something.
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hold onto that and then look at what happens. that is the first thing. when it comes to science le bon to what came out so that is the place to start.
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the first thing i wish someone would teach them that. [laughter] if in an industrial setting one of the common ways of presenting it would be to put bottles in the container which is putting things that stick out in the obstacles inside and underwater it would definitely do that that's what it would do. the other thing you can do is
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have one that comes around a little bit to hold the sloshing in and then there's an interesting thing with an inertia because if it i is and three in the same way that the pendulum is, it loses its range of motion is very limited. it might depend on whether it was flat. i think the major effect with just the getting in the way of moving past it. because the fluid underneath us to move as well not just on the top. all the way down it is shifting so that would be my guess. so now you can go home and have
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some tea and just reduce reducee depth of the mug. lots of experiments to do. i don't know the answer but you all can go and try. >> that's quite interesting like the job application of physics, blasting diamond parts -- i'm sure it happens both ways, but when you are a physicist looking for a job do you typically find more often you get the one crazy idea and you will get someone to pay you for it or do you find it more often after you've decided you like this bit of physics now i'm just going to search for the arena? >> people don't always pay us to play with toys that is the sad thing. yeah, exactly. what normally happens is the
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pure civics research and it's when you see an interesting thing and go after it and find ways to solve it. when you are an academic physicist, you can do all the experiments you like as long as you find a way to pay for them, so there are so many answers to that question but normally, you create an opportunity that lets you do something interesting so it's not like you turn the chops into what you want them to be because you are interested in what you are good at and then it takes you along so it's not like you get to pick. just for the record, all
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questioners so far have been very homogenous in terms of their gender. no, they haven't, that isn't quite true. let's have a mix of people come up to the microphone. you have to at least get me started with the toast thing so i think the butter has a greater mass. >> it has nothing to do with a that. [laughter] you can try it. but, you see, it could have. all it would have taken is for you not just to do the thinking that tbut to get two pieces of , put butter on one and not on the other and watch. i constantly try to teach my students not to, especially the younger ones not just to think
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through a problem and get an answer you have to go through reality. before you think of an enormous hypothesis, what you do is try it with and without and see the difference. part of the discipline of science is inking not too many steps ahead. you have to prioritize and check and then you find out whether the next problem is worth worrying about. sorry to shoot you down, but it's not about butter. ..
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>> there's a book called delusions of gender. it's about socialization of brains and fundamentally even social creatures, we behave, we are programmed to behave in a way that we think people expect us to behave. so having a gendered society creates problems that are hard to escape because your brain, even though you're not aware of it what might it expect to do. so the first thing is, everybody needs to read that book. which is reference to the hills. the biggest thing is changing the environment. so science has been seen as something which is without right and wrong, it's almost an
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aggressive highway type thing. it's not traditionally seen as being about conversations. the manner in which a physics and engineering departments operate is very old-school aggressive mail. changing that culture is the biggest single thing that will change women in physics. that involves the men accepting that and making in modernizing the workplace that is better than everybody. it's not doing things for the women. i'm very proud to work in a department at ucl where the people that go hope for clock on the bed covered up the women. so i think really there are lots of types of diversity, we do not have a diverse scientific workforce and that is a huge cut
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problem. making it better is about making it better for all humans. to make it for some sections of society. but the idea has to be pushed forth by everyone because it's better, not because it's giving something to someone else or creating friction, it's better for everyone. it's an attitude thing. on these all these type things. there's reports published in britain three or four years ago that suggested evidence at the moment the reason women need physics is because they have better things to do. they can do the technical stuff in the social skills. they get paid huge amounts of money to work in industry. there's lots of ways of working at it. that attitude changed, it's modernization process and not optional. the culture change has to be taken very seriously.
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people assume and everybody thinks laughing is normal and there's more listening needed others different reasons to run. the hard problem. the last two questions. >> another quantum mechanics, things that are very small follow unsubtle laws and things that are large fellow another set. can you talk about the stuff in between? >> the interesting things about the laws of physics is that all of the forces are present all of the time. but there is a hierarchy of prior of hierarchy. so where i am standing on stage, gravity is the force which is making the most difference to my body immediately. there's electrostatic forces,
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and all kinds of things, but gravity dominates because of this size. so all the forces are there, so here forces for example i can move my hand around but basically this is negligible. but if you are to make my hand really small then the air it start to matter more than the gravity that i need to resist to hold my hand up. as you might think smaller and faster, the same laws of air but different ones on top of the hierarchy. so that is why a tower for example if you get a tissue in the liquid will only soak up so far and the structure of the towel dictates how far that is. but if you get something is quite big that's holistic and
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put it in a puddle it would go no nowhere. so it's about hierarchy. the same simple for supplies. the ones that don't matter so insignificant that we don't discover. >> it's an interesting problem because when you do things like wondering what life would be like on another planet because you know you have the same physical laws but there's different values so it leads to this interesting speculation about how you operate in different environments. the first example is the ocean. so were running out of time. >> one comment to the gender thing is giving the women the opportunity to rise to the challenge, so challenging to come up and ask questions. the question was similar so i will switch it up.
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do you think we have the tools necessary to create a universal theory of everything and is that possible? >> universal theory of everything, there's different interpretations of what that means, in a broader sense it's a set of consistent theories that explain everything that we see experimentally. so everything that grand unified theory is quantum mechanics and they have to mash but they don't play nicely with each other. tiny quantum stuff is another thing and that's quite far apart. they have to talk to each other until you get into the black hole of the universe. we know that quantum mechanics cannot both be perfectly bright
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because they have to talk to each other at some point. so there is that kind of grand theory were there some modification needs to be found but no one has quite found where the matching processes. the bigger question of how you whether a theory of everything is possible, i think that history is littered with scientist whose thoughts it was just about -- being up. i think the thing the reason i am hesitating is for it to be science it has to be testable. yet for you to have a theory it has to be testable. a lot of theories about the universe and things like that is very difficult to test them. it may be possible to have theories that explain everything
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we see but there could be two that both explain what we see and we cannot distinguish because we cannot create an experience. so it is likely that something will not be testable, but it doesn't mean we cannot get very close. and i cannot think of anything worse. a friend of mine once said very well, science knows it doesn't know everything or it would stop. it's so fun to do but it would be terrible if it was to stop. maybe i hope we don't never find a theory of everything. [applause] [applause]
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[inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] >> friday night on book to be we'll bring you author annie jacobsen on in-depth. she's the author for, area 51, operation paperclip, the pentagon's brain and most recently, phenomenon. that's at 8:00 p.m. eastern. at 11, pulitzer prize-winning columnist and author of over 30 books, dave talks about his career and his most recent book, the state ever. look to be in prime time on
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friday night on c-span2. >> this week on q&a, the historian david mccullough on his book, the american spirit, who we are and what we stand for. a selection of speeches going back to 1989. senator that has been written about the most is joe mccarthy. there's no biography of the senator who had the backbone to stand up to him first. margaret j smith. >> to know how you went about preparing for that speech? the hardest i've ever worked on anything that i've delivered from a podium. >> the american spirit, a selection of speeches going back to 1989. sunday night on q&a. check out the c-span classroom website at it's full of teaching resources
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for classroom members. the improved layout gives teachers easy access to resources. including short current event videos that highlight important events in washington, d.c. constitution clips that bring the constitution to live. social studies lesson plans and history resources. you can search and filter by date, person, keyword, topic, and grade level. bellringer's video clips or teacher favorites. they're paired with vocabulary and discussion questions that make federal government and politics more accessible to your students. >> i love the bellringer's, i will use them in conjunction with an activity were doing as a wrap up. >> the new website is fabulous. we use it regularly. students are working on clipping
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videos and making questions they can design intern into their own bellringer's. >> probably my favorite is the deliberation stage. it's a perfectly set up, ready to go classroom deliberation on a variety of topics that are current and relevant today. >> if you are middle or high school teacher join thousands of your fellow teachers as a member of c-span classroom. it's free and easy to register at if you register now you can request a classroom size american presidents timeline poster. find out more about it >> on "washington journal" we discussed the trump administrations agenda on climate change in the environment with bob deans of the natural resources defense council and myron of the


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